Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news about the new do-it-yourself journalism. The good news? Theoretically, anyone with a keyboard and a modem can enter the global conversation. The bad news? At least in American journalism, a bunch of people who don’t know English very well are writing their heads off, producing a slew of words without … More Words Gone Wrong: 8 Stupid Things Journalists Write
….my office-mate asked me yesterday. In recent weeks, I have spent a good many hours on the site duolingo.com. Unable to stir for long from my sofa, I took advantage of a University of Tennessee/Peace Corps challenge to use duolingo for free and have been working with four languages–Italian, which I once spoke fluently; … More “So, you have no life?”
ducklings “After” usually means “after in time order” (“I’ll see you after class”), but in phrasal verbs it usually means something like “following” in a certain direction, toward, or chasing. The baby ducks in the picture are following their mother; they are swimming after her. Chasing something: “go after, be after, run after” “Zelda is after Scott … More Chapter 7 – “After” as Toward, Following or Chasing
Here’s Chapter 6 of How We Really Talk: Using Phrasal Verbs in English Chapter 6 “Across” is like a bridge. We cross something so we can get to the other side. Information moves across space from one person to another. If I can make you understand my idea, I can “get it across” to you. Come … More Phrasal Verbs 1/44
In 2003, President George W. Bush delivered a State of the Union speech in which he described the US’ campaign against Iraq. It was a little bit of a “Mission Accomplished” moment, as you can see, but the interesting thing about it to me is the color-coding. Bush, a far less intelligent man than Clinton … More Levels of Language in George W. Bush rhetoric
What’s the best level of language to use? It depends on your purpose. If you want people to trust you, use Level I. If you want people to think you’re oh-so-intelligent, use Level II. If you require absolute precision in specialist occupations, use Level III words. If you want to offend someone, use the Basement. … More So What’s the Best Level of Language to Use?, You May Ask.
So we were talking about Donald Trump and his 4th-grade vocabulary level. Trump is still doing well in the polls as of mid-August, 2015, though that could change this week, or next, or the next. And he is doing well despite the insults that…
As anyone who is not a zombie knows, there has been quite a bit of commotion in the 2016 presidential race. The Republican primary contest has expanded to 17 candidates, but only one is getting headlines in the media: Donald Trump.Trump has been sucking all the oxygen out of the political space for a couple of … More Donald Trump and the Fourth-Grade Vocabulary: The Social Use of “Short,” “Medium,” and “Long” Words
Here is a diagram showing the different words we might use for the concept of “Walk.” The red color signifies home words, the blue signifies educated words, the purple signifies scholarly or scientific words, and the gray (like the dust in our attics) signifies rare or poetic words. We use Level One words when we … More How many ways can you say “walk”?
As a Level One word, a post is a pole or large stick of wood, used to fasten or attach things to. In this picture, the horse is tied to a hitching post. The word is very old in English–it comes through Old French from Latin postis. But post in Latin (not postis) also means (as a preposition) “after.” There are many … More Your Word for the Day: “Post” Words Meaning “After”